Bhubaneswar: While government speaks of women empowerment in different forums and its field level implementation; the same has become a niche for Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC). The enduring effort of the city authority has involved women in development initiatives to create space for their income generation thereby promoting empowerment.
BMC has ensured women’s participation in sanitation, protection of environment, beautification, construction, revenue collection and recreation activities; said Hon’ble Mayor, BMC Mrs Sulochana Das.
To reduce the gap of disparity with regard to income and to provide earning opportunities, women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Area Level Federations (ALFs) of Mission Shakti are treated as implementation partners in different projects. This is an indicator of empowerment; she added.
Mukhya Mantri Karma Tatpara Aviyan (MUKTA), a flagship program in the state, its implementation in BMC has involved 623 SHGs. MUKTA’s rainwater harvesting project has 3,083 no. of implementations involving more than 500 SHGs as its implementation partners. Other projects include roadside open-air gym, parking space development, walkway development, playground and renovation of ponds.
SHGs have been awarded work orders as implementation partners. This has become the empowerment process boosting women’s financial literacy and income generation.
Women’s participation in sanitation has led the urban civilization. Micro-composting Centers (MCCs) and Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) are functional since last year. A total of 117 SHGs and five Area Level Federations are deployed to promote and manage the units as Swcha Sathis and Swachha Karmis. Presently, more than 600 women are managing the units.
On the other hand, SHGs also manage Colony Parks. Out of 77 parks, 40 are run by women SHGs. In addition, 67 SHGs are in charge of revenue collection and the other 67 groups do the work of Jala Sathi. It is even a matter of joy that they are involved in the management of the faecal sludge treatment plant and the collection of electricity bills. They are also involved in Aahaar centre management.
As per data, about 1000 SHGs being implementation partners in different projects have contributed to their family income.
BMC has 5,032 registered Women SHG groups. Of these, 3,757 have already received a revolving fund of rupees ten thousand each. Various business loans have been disbursed to 3658 groups through bank connectivity that has promoted entrepreneurship and self-reliance among the group members.
Besides, BMC’s Safaigadi initiative (waste collection vehicle) has engaged about 300 numbers of women drivers and supporting staff (swachha karmis) through implementing partners. Equal importance is given to involving transgender groups in different development initiatives.